I’ve always wanted to be in a serious relationship. I became so infatuated with the idea of being with someone that I quickly gave my heart away to the men I liked. Towards the end of 2017, I poured my heart into the hands of a man I was dating with the expectation of it becoming something serious, but I was only left hurt and disappointed. I realized I couldn’t continue pursuing relationships like this. Through prayer and through conversations with friends, God began to nudge my heart to take a break from dating and instead focus on Him. At first, I was afraid that this break could take me farther away from finding that special someone, but God gave me the courage to make a year-long commitment to fast from dating. For 2018, I committed to focusing all of the mental and physical energy that I had once used towards pursuing a romantic relationship, towards pursuing God.

This decision set my heart in a posture of being more sensitive to hearing from God. I said “yes” to everything He called me to, from being baptized and sharing my testimony in front of the entire church, to going on my first missions trip. I remember praying to God, asking Him to allow me to understand the love that is described in Psalm 42:1: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul longs after You, O God.” It was at missions where I finally began to understand that verse. As I grew closer to God, He gave me a reverence for His word and a craving for His presence. After returning from missions, I spent every Saturday morning with Him. I went on hikes alone to enjoy His creation and to nearby parks to read His word.

When I felt lonely, I turned to Him for company. When I felt anxious, I asked God for His peace. When I felt impatient, I put my trust in Him, knowing that His timing is perfect. God didn’t take away my desire for a relationship; instead, He showed me how to desire a relationship. Before my fast, I placed all of my hope and fulfillment in an earthly relationship. Now, I am satisfied by the one relationship I have with God.

It’s 2019, and my dating fast is over. But, I will continue to pour my energy, my pursuits, and my heart into God’s hands. Nothing is as worthy of my love as the Lord.

 

Author’s Note: If you would like to hear more about my dating fast, please feel free to email me at dina.chang@columbia.edu. God taught me so much last year, and there’s more I wish I could have included in this blog post. I’d love to tell you about it!